On Tuesday night, the Punch Brothers were live on the stage of the Kentucky Theatre. Starting Friday, the genre-busting, bluegrass-based artists will be on the theater's big screen in the documentary How to Grow a Band.
The film by director Mark Meatto chronicles the start of the band, born after mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile's original act Nickel Creek went on indefinite hiatus, in 2008 and '09. It follows the group, formed around a four-movement, 45-minute elegy to Thile's failed marriage, through performances in Scotland, England and New York.
The film opened April 13 in New York, and although a review was not available to the Herald-Leader, New York Times critic Nicolas Rapold wrote, "Ego struggles and innovators' laments (nobody gets us!) are a refrain in many band documentaries. How to Grow a Band adds a modest but effective entry to the genre's back catalog."
Tuesday's concert got high marks from Herald-Leader critic Walter Tunis, who called the show "easily the most exciting and inventive of (Punch Brothers') many Lexington-area performances," so How to Grow a Band could be an opportunity to see how far the group has come.